Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology (AT) tools help students:

  • Communicate with teachers and classmates
  • Do their school work
  • Participate in school programs and activities

Examples of Assistive Technology

AT tools are commonly described as "low-tech", "mid-tech," or "high-tech." An AT evaluation will determine the type(s) of tools best able to support your child at school.

Request an AT Evaluation

If you believe your student needs assistive technology, follow these steps:

Prepare a Letter

Include all of the following information

  • The current date
  • The student’s name, date of birth, school, and student identification number (OSIS)
  • A description of why you think they need AT
  • Your printed name and signature

Submit the Request

You can mail, fax, or deliver it in person.

  • If your school-age child is in public school, submit to your child’s IEP team.
  • If your school-age child attends a non-public school or is not currently enrolled, submit to your Committee on Special Education.
  • If your child receives home instruction, submit to:
    • Office of Home Schooling
      333 Seventh Avenue, floor 7
      New York, NY, 10001

Give Consent

  • You will be contacted for consent within 15 days after we receive your request for an AT evaluation.
  • The DOE has 60 calendar days to evaluate your child after you give your consent. Any delays will result in the timeline being adjusted.

The Evaluation Process

  • Your child will be evaluated at school, our department location, or at home, depending on need.
  • Your child and his or her teachers will be trained to use any AT equipment we recommend.
  • Customized goals will be developed for your child.
  • Evaluation may include a trial. Your child’s performance will be reviewed and his or her IEP goals will be adjusted, if appropriate.

After the Evaluation

  • If AT devices and/or services are necessary, your child’s IEP or 504 plan will be revised to include specific information about the recommended service(s) and/or device(s).
  • We will provide all AT equipment and/or services that are recommended. AT equipment and services will typically be delivered to your CPSE, CSE, or school IEP team. Students who are on home instruction will receive their AT delivery and services at home.
  • All AT devices are purchased and owned by the DOE. Students must return their equipment when they graduate or if they transfer to a school outside of NYC. Students use equipment in school, but may use it at home if this is specified in the IEP or 504 plan.
  • We will provide training to you, your child, your child’s teachers, and other school staff as needed. Initial training is provided by the evaluation team. School staff is responsible for use of the device and ongoing support to the student.
  • You, your child and the school staff must take care of the AT device. The CPSE, CSE, or school IEP team arrange for the repair or replacement of missing or broken AT devices, as well as for re-programming or other maintenance. If you believe that your child’s AT device needs repair or replacement, contact your CPSE, CSE, or school IEP team.

Find Out More

Instructional Technology

Many technology options are available to us today – we carry smartphones, tablets and use computers. These technologies can be considered “Instructional Technology” (IT) when we use them to support education and learning.

They can also be considered “Assistive Technology” when used to improve the functional capabilities of students with disabilities who cannot access their curriculum through other means.

All assistive technology is listed on a student’s IEP or 504 plan. IT equipment, however, can be used as a resource by all students.